Mustela STELATOPIA and Eczema

August 2016

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Mustela would be one of my favourite brands to introduce to any new Mummy friends. For the past 5 years, it has been a staple in our family and you will always see these white and blue bottles in our bathroom. There is this unique smell of Mustela that Mummies love on there babies, which I subconsciously associate with a freshly cleaned baby, who is just cooing and smiling at me.

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Baby Megan’s Skin Condition

In fact, I have dedicated two lengthy blog posts(Mustela Bebe, Mustela Bebe 2)  on Mustela products before. But there is something new that I would like to share- Mustela Stelatopia, which is a range of skincare that Mustela came with up with for babies or adults who have eczema.

Among my children, Ryan has the best skin. He is usually fair(because of the lack of sun in London) and his skin is so supple and soft. He rarely has any sort of skin irritation. Gillian, on the other hand, has pretty dry skin but it is still manageable. We just need to slather lots of cream for her before she sleeps at night. Baby Megan, who is my youngest, has eczema, which is a medical condition where patches of skin becomes rough and inflamed with blisters which cause itching and bleeding.

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(I must apologise if these photos look unpleasant but I needed to share how eczema affects young babies. This happened to Megan when I tried organic coconut oil on her. Obviously, her skin did not react well to it. While it may work wonders for many, it was not suitable for her.)

Ryan and Gillian had this eczema condition when they were really young but they went off just as quickly. With Baby Megan, it seems to be more persistent and heart breaking. There are mornings when we wake up finding spots of blood on the bed, near her head area because she has been scratching through the night. When Baby Megan gets upset(because she does not see me), she will end up crying and scratching herself. This further aggravates the her eczema-prone skin. Inevitably, there are occasions where she scratched off the top layer of her skin. This probably sound unimaginable and unfathomable to some of you but babies with this eczema condition have it hard as they are so young and are unable to control their scratching strength.

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What we found out about Eczema

Given Megan’s condition, it is only natural that her GPs took note of it and she was referred to the dermatologists in London. On both occasions, they gave her topical steroids and moisturisers(which main ingredients are usually paraffin). Usually, after any steroids, Megan’s eczema will slowly go off and it usually takes about 3 weeks because her skin clears.

The thing is that this is the first time I am encountering such serious eczema in babies and I am learning every step of this journey and here are what I have understood:

  • Eczema is a very painful condition. One of my doctors who suffers from eczema told me that the itch that comes with eczema is way more awful than a mosquito bite. As an adult with understanding of the condition, it would be more possible to control. However, babies would be going through so much more pain.
  • Steroids. I know there are a number of well-meaning people who tell me that steroid is bad for the skin as it thins it. I know this as well and have listened to many advice- to choose alternative skin care products like organic coconut oil and organic extra-virgin olive oil. The thing is that when I stop the topical steroids and commit myself to these alternative choices, it will only make sense if I persist on the trials for at least 3-4 weeks. By then, Baby Megan’s skin would have worsened because the other options did not work out and the doctors have to prescribe a stronger steroid to treat the skin.
  • For both consultations with the dermatologists, they are assured me repeatedly that the steroids are okay to be used to treat the eczema. Yes, steroid will thin the skin when used over a long period of time- but this will only happen on good skin. So, once the eczema goes off and the good skin appears, the treatment of steroids will stop as well. So yes to steroids for treating the eczema. It is akin to having to take antibiotics to cure a bacterial infection in the body.
  • If possible, dress the baby who has eczema condition in cotton clothes. If the mother is nursing, it would be also beneficial to wear cotton clothes since the baby’s skin will be in frequent contact with the mother.

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How did  Mustela Stelatopia come into our lives…

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Here comes my main point on Mustela Stelatopia Lipid-Replenishing Balm. Because of Megan’s skin condition, I signed up with Mustela UK to be on their testing team for Mustela Stelatopia.

I have been using it for at least 2 months consistently. On occasions when Baby Megan’s skin flares up, I will apply the steroid first and wait for 15 minutes before I put on the  lipid-replenishing balm. You can do it the other way as well- lipid replenishing balm first, wait for 15 minutes and then the steroids to be applied. It sounds very troublesome but parents with children suffering from eczema will eventually get used to this routine. On a daily basis, I definitely spend between 45 minutes to 1 hour just moisturising my children. Sometimes, it can be a chore but just like most thing in life, I can see that my children enjoy this daily massage experience with me. As they get older and more independent, they will be learning to do it themselves. For now, I am happy to be having these moments of servitude.

The Stelatopia range with Mustela is solely manufactured with babies and adults with the eczema condition. I find it comforting to know that a big brand like Mustela knows the needs of the market and they are researching on the best products to launch to help their consumers. Here are some reasons why I like it:

  • The range is made exclusively for eczema skin and is baby-friendly. In fact, there was a clinical study done on it.
  • The Mustela Stelatopia Lipid-Replenishing Balm is easy to apply and it seems to absorb easily into the skin without that ‘icky’ feeling.
  • The texture is rich and creamy. Whenever Megan starts scratching, I will apply the balm on her and it seems to ease her itching.
  • I think the one tube of the balm is able to last relatively long. We use it everyday, after everyday nappy change, which amounts to 7-8 times a day on Baby Megan’s body and we are still at our first tube. (Yes, if it would be good to moisturise the skin as frequent as possible, given Baby Megan’s skin condition.)

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Do check our video with Mustela where I share more about our journey with eczema. I was surprised that Mustela Singapore had us on the video. Baby Megan’s skin was much better then, no bleeding or open wounds but still there are some redness on her face, and ankles. It touches me to know because Mustela acknowledges that there are some babies may have this eczema skin condition and they are still perfect to be on a corporate video. (Well, they could be using a baby with great skin, promoting the same product.)

Okay…okay, maybe I am very ’emo’ about this but it can be quite hurting(even though I just laugh it off) when Megan and I get insensitive comments from people about her skin condition. (Erhm… but I don’t think Megan takes offence since she is still a baby.) Objectively, when her skin flares up, it can be uncomfortable to look at. Ohwell…So in this light, I am so thankful that the Mustela understand that treating eczema is going to be a journey and products are develop to to ease the discomfort as much as possible.

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Disclaimer: We were given two tubes of Mustela Stelatopia(one from Mustela UK and one from Mustela Sg). Opinions are of my own and I have given honest feedback and review of our experience with the product.

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